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U.s. 48, Washington 22, Us 20, China 15, America 12, Scott Hodge 8, Obama 7, United States 7, Mitch Mcconnell 6, Korea 6, Mr. Hodge 6, Wisconsin 5, New Jersey 5, Colombia 5, Eric Wasson 4, John Boehner 4, Michele Bachmann 4, New York 4, South Korea 4, Obama Administration 3,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Journalists and  
   policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.  

    July 11, 2011
    7:00 - 10:00am EDT  

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cuts so security, medicare, or medicaid. also a discussion on the debt ceiling talks with scott hodge, president of the tax foundation and later a look at the pending trade deal between the u.s. and panama with eric wasson of "the hill." "washington journal" next. ♪ host: after president obama holds his news conference this morning at 11:00, presented to you live here on c-span, we are told that he will meet again with congressional leaders about the united states deficit and what to do about it. talks have stalled, deadlock, stagnating, depending on what you read. we want to get your thoughts
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this morning on where they might be headed. democrats, for republicans, 202- 624-1115. what is your message today? mr. hawkins, good morning. thank you for joining us. everything has been casual, from what we can see. but we heard that things turned rather testy quickly. can you give us a sense of what happened last night? >> what is important to remember is that what happened last night is the president continued to try to press ahead with his call
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for the so-called grand bargain. a 10 year, $4 trillion deficit reduction plan that would be matched with an increased amount of borrowing power for the government. the president was met with resistance. the last time that he pressed for it, everyone in the room was going for it except for eric cantor and jon kyl. this time the crowd of opponents was bigger but one important person, john boehner. the important thing to remember here is scaling back from $4 trillion to 2.5 trillion does not make any of the big issues go away. sooner or later republicans are going to have to swallow some revenue increases.
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host: what is the purpose of today's news conference from the president? caller: the purpose for the president is to set a delicate balance. on the one hand he wants to claim the political high ground, i assume, saying that he tried and pushed for historic bipartisan achievement. unfortunately, we will like it there. the reason is that republicans will not sign on to a bold, $1 trillion tax overhaul. so, he wants to show the voters that he is the big negotiator. everything that he said the revlon in 2008. but he does not want to poison the well to make these negotiations for the rest of the week. >> what is the main message
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coming from republicans going into this meeting? >> it would seem that their main message is probably going to stay the same period that we are for a big deal, but not a big tax increase. or any tax increase. once again they will be challenged to expand on this sharp rhetorical edge. id is a distinction without much of a difference. a few close a tax loophole, it raises the taxes for someone. pretty much any change in the tax code that raises revenue could be portrayed by the people that have to pay the additional revenue. it is a very difficult dance. the speaker keeps talking about no new taxes on the american people. this seems to give him an
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opening to talk about revenues and businesses, like the corporate tax loophole that we heard about in the last few days. host: do we have any more details on the parameters of this meeting? what can you tell us? >> i have not seen anything coming across my blackberry this morning. host: same here. caller: i imagine it will obviously be after the news conference last night they talked about a willingness to meet. not only today, but every day until they get a deal. whether or not it will be that eight top congressional leaders, or if it will become a smaller group, none of that is clear as i talk to you right now.
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it will likely become clearer after i get a full night's sleep. host: any deal would have to be vetted with the rank and file. give us an idea of the conditions within each body and within each party. caller: this is one of the reasons that the talks collapsed over the weekend. the speaker realize, ahead of the president, that he could not get such a big deal through the republican-led house. they have talked about meeting a handshake by the end of this week to get the bill written the parliamentary machen nations that lie ahead for -- written by the end of this week.
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the parliamentary machinations that lie ahead for it. many of these men and women elected with tea party support, probably half to more than half will essentially vote against anything. for some of them said that they ran for a big reduction of the deficit. $2 trillion to $3 trillion over 10 years is not big enough. others will vote against it because they will oppose even the slightest revenue increased. the speaker has to be looking to hold on to at least half of his side. he will lead a majority of republicans to vote for such a deal. in the senate, the same thing. a majority of senate democrats will need to vote for its rigid
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vote for this for a to get through. liberal democrats are more and more annoyed with the president. they think that he is selling out the store of core democratic ideals. that this is what the base of the democratic party expats -- expects. each cut that he gives in on will come back to haunt them next year. host: david, thank you for the follow-up to last night's meeting. caller: take care. host: lots going on, lots to talk about. here is one of the headlines. this is the front page of "the washington times" this sunday morning. "president to continue talks with boehner and others on the way forward." we have a crew on the hill.
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if folks from congress speak today, we will be sure to bring that to you. more action expected today. al, independent, you are up first. caller: good morning. host: what do you think of all of this? caller: i think that the two- party is an important, underestimated phenomenon going on politically. the majority of the population does not even vote. factor in these people that are very active -- especially ron paul, as he is the one that started the tea party movement. there was this sarah palin phase that went around, another is michele bachmann, but the reality is that it was not controlled by anyone.
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just a bunch of people who are upset about things going on right now. we can prioritize things. like, instead of having a comprehensive bill, saying we will have comprehensive cuts in spending, you say that we will deal with one problem at a time. even the people who say we are in recovery, i do not know what they are talking about. basic economics, you learn that you cannot raise taxes in a recession. host: finish up. caller: knowing that you cannot do that, we can focus on cutting spending right now and next year we can focus on reviewing tax reform and really getting rid of the income tax, having a completely new economic and
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monetary system. our dollar is going into a crisis. host: we will get on to some other papers in a second. open quote the washington times" has this -- "the washington times" has this side story. host: next call, dug in, staten island, new york. caller: good morning. i wanted to tell al that the whole idea of raising taxes, as he puts it, and the one that makes less than $250,000 per
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year, look at your pay stubs. you are paying less taxes than ever before. it has not provided a single job for anyone. before about this present -- about this president', we always talk about this large caucus. they have a budget that would basically bring us back into some kind of decent financial standing, but is never promoted during the entire idea of this president -- never print -- never promoted. the entire idea of this president being the goat -- this great compromiser, put everything on the table. we should be talking about jobs right now. we should not be talking about
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reducing the debt. instead, he always goes to where he thinks the opposite position is. every democrat right now -- by the way, i do not have a democrat in this fight. i have my pension, i have my social security. i have seen this president give in to these republicans again and again. host: thank you, doug. bethesda, md., next call. mark, republican, what is your message to the white house today? are you there? i think he is gone. independent,ilia, .llillinois
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caller: i have been studying the 2000 election debacle. members of congress are required to take an oath of office. [unintelligible] it includes the words -- they swear to support the constitution of the united states. everyone knows what the 14th amendment says. but the ninth amendment states that the enumeration of certain rights in the constitution faja shut not destroy the rights of certain people. host: what does that mean to you
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as they go to bat on the debt? caller: if they decide to cut benefits for medicare or medicaid, they are in violation of the oath of office. with all of the penalties laid out, it provides for the violation in the oath of office. there is still time for hefty fines. there is a whole long list. they need to remember. i am not the only one. i have been on the facebook for the democrats. we are watching them. if they fail to raise the debt ceiling, [unintelligible]
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host: thank you for calling. a couple of front pages around the country. open quote the advantage journal constitution -- "via blanton journal constitution." also, here is "the link in this batch." -- lincoln dispatched -- richmond times dispatch." "president obama tried on sunday to revive the chances of a sweeping budget agreement."
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host: that is the front page of "the new york times." george, good morning. caller: thank you for c-span.
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this is appalling. i cannot believe that we are in this state. that we would see this country shut down rather than take a few dollars from the rich? this is unbelievable. what is wrong with the republicans that? are their brains it washed, or what? thank you very much. host: something we have checked in on that now and then over the past weeks and months, lots of different breakdowns on the federal debt. you can see over $14 trillion in the upper left. roger, republican. what is your message to congress? really tickings and they only have a short period of time. there is nothing that they can
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really do rhetorically. with speeches and talks. i have a feeling sort of in my heart that what will happen is they will go to the chinese, like they have done before. they are making these large tracts of land in the united states self-contained areas. i think that they are going to sell these lands to the chinese in order to try to bail us out of this situation that we are in. hopefully this will work before the bottom comes out. host: i appreciate your call, roger. here is a twitter message this monday morning. twitter.com/c-spanwj is our twitter address. by the way.
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host: timothy geithner was on "meet the press" yesterday and talked about the ongoing talks over the debt. >> we are going to try to get the best deal possible for the economy. not just in the short term. making sure that americans get the tax relief that they need right now. also things that will make sure they have what they need to invest in their future. host: the president's news conference is at 11:00 eastern time today we will get that to you any coverage that comes out of meetings today. illinois, james, democratic line, thank you for waiting. caller: thank you for c-span. congress, washington, no one has even heard.
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the problem with everything is that obama cannot do nothing without the house and senate. the house and senate can do nothing without obama's approval. they are a bunch of kids that cannot get along and they expect americans to get along with each other when they cannot get along with it themselves? they will have to clean house and get together as a group, coming together as one rather than bickering and fighting over every tidbit of what they want to accomplish that does not affect the american public at all, putting our money to good use instead of these things that they properly endorsed. they work for us. we do not work for them. tot: james, we're going on
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tony in eastern pennsylvania. caller: i do not know how many democrats are in new jersey that voted with the republican governor on that one issue. can you tell me their names? host: why do you last? -- why do you ask? host: let's see if we can find out, but go on with your overall comments. caller: ross perot said that there was not a dime's worth of difference between republicans and democrats. i have to agree with that statement. i think that the senators and congressmen, they are not fighting for no tax increase on the rich, they are all rich themselves. host: thank you for calling. one more message from twitter this morning.
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host: here is senator mitch mcconnell, republican, on "fox news sunday" of all of this. >> look, over 60% of our budget, we do not even vote on. you cannot do anything, serious, about the deficit without impacting the biggest percentage of the budget. so, i commend the president for putting medicare and social security on the table. he is correct in doing that. you cannot have a serious debt correction program without dealing with them in the long term of years.
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host: published in "the washington times" this morning -- host: cape coral, florida, philip, good morning. caller: social security should not even be on the table. social security is supposed to
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come from our government and should have no connection with our spending or deficit anything. this is money that the american people have put into four years. social security when it originally started, it was not supposed to be touched. it was supposed to go into a separate fund for the people. they want to start cutting things? cut these wasteful offices. let's give them the 30% pay cut and see how they like it. host: kansas city, wayne, democratic line. that talks have stalled. what is your message? caller: it seems to me that anyone who is watching this thing can understand that the republicans certainly want president obama to fail. they do not want him to have a
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second term. it is my opinion that the republican party has many reasons behind their theory of the economy slowing. we understand that the economy, wall street, is really based on perceptions and what not. so, when they hear the defiance of the republicans, when they understand that republicans will not work with democrats, and they know that they will have obama fail -- that is their agenda -- closing the government, taking us to the brink and holding the government hostage, that really gives them no confidence in what is going on with the economic system in america. i would also like to say that
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there was an article, i think that it was michele bachmann and another presidential candidate, rick santorum, i think, who sign some sort of a pledge that had racist connotations to it as far as african-americans, back in the slave days there were african americans that were slaves. coming from two parent homes, i think that you might have an article about that. it just underscores that there is a racist tinge to the republican party. the last thing that i would like to say is that the rich in america, there is an american spirit that we all have, that we all come from. i do not think that the wealthy
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people in america have a problem with paying no taxes. they are americans and want to do what is best for this country. i think that the thriving problem is the defiance and inability to reason seriously. host: i am going to let you go and get some more voices on here. like roger, from dallas, texas. roger, are you there? caller: can you hear me? host: we can hear you, sir. go ahead. caller: the federal budget has increased 33% since obama took office. telling me that we have a spending problem. we have a $1.60 trillion
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deficit this year, another $16 trillion coming for the next year. they are talking about the difference between saving $2.50 trillion of $4 trillion. neither one of those numbers are going to say bus from becoming greece on the present half. we have to cut a lot more spending than either democrats or republicans have offered to cut so far. if we do not do that, we are in big trouble and they will not be able to raise $16 trillion in taxes over the next 10 years. that should be the priority. host: here is more from the treasury secretary yesterday on what happens if congress does not act. >> they will downgrade our
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credit. first time in history. if that happens, you will see catastrophic damage across the american economy and the global economy. to their credit, leaders understand this. there is no credible way to give congress more time. there is no constitutional option. there is no creative financial option. host: the president has said news conference at 11:00 eastern time today. we will have that live on c- span. he will go back into talks with congressional leaders. we are not sure at what time? happen. here is how they put it last night in an open " the washington post." -- how they put it last night in "the washington post."
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host: glendale, new york. good morning. caller: i agree with the woman talking before who said that we need to absolutely stop spending. anytime the to pick up the paper or read the news on the internet, there are handouts after handouts. there is just way too much and they need to stop that. we know that that is pork barrel spending to make our leaders look good so that they get voted back in. that is one way that they can really cut down. take every state, look at the
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money they spent on grants. it is crazy. so many government workers, local, state, and federal, when you put in their benefits, which is really the taxpayer paying for it, it is out of control. paying 100% of the health insurance for other people? that is taxpayer money. that is local. that is a big problem. you have your small businesses trying to survive, my husband is one. they are doing away with the american dream. sewing your hard work, that is no longer the case and it is very depressing. host: this morning the senate demands of lawmakers --
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host: here is a bit more from mitch mcconnell, kentucky, on the morning shows next big -- yesterday. >> we believe that tax reform is long overdue. we believe the president does as well. getting the preferences out, it is difficult to do that in a week and it is an extremely complicated process. i do not see how you can do that in the context of our immediate challenge. figuring out what to do in order to raise the debt ceiling. host: this is from "the wall
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street journal." "the u.s. labor market could stay sluggish for a while." host: delaware, independent caller, good morning. caller: before i get into my idea, you need to get rid of this independent line. there are not many of them calling. but i have an idea how about republicans give democrats everything that they want? everything in this country is so
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bad off, ladies come out with another total, we will get someone in there to clean up this mess. everyone keeps forgetting that this president has increased the deficit by $1.50 trillion per year. he was the one that was going to cut the deficit in half. anyhow, we need to cut this line, there are not any real independence. host: let me give you to elaborate a little bit. you talk about real independence? caller: independence, they lean right or left, but i am talking about believing in the third party. this has not ridiculous. host: we have got the point, ed. the debt limit debate, testing gop unity. the john boehner flipped tests leadership, they write in
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politico. host: sharon, pennsylvania, democratic line, good morning.
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caller: i will tell you, one of the things that really bothers me with republican followers is just how gullible they are. i remember back in 2010 how all of this fear mongering about obama and who he was meeting with and to his religious leader was -- the entire thing with reverend right and the whole thing about how we were going to have a serious major terrorist attack if he was elected. this last election, the whole thing with the republican party was their mantra was that they were going to focus like a laser on jobs. what happened to that? i have not heard that phrase the entire time they have been in here. now it is all about the debt ceiling. when they raise the debt ceiling seven times during the george bush administration, rolling us into an economic
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coal so deep, handing it off to the president and the democrats, because they had to spend so much money just to stabilize the economy, and now they are talking about how much the president has raised the debt ceiling. how could you not, other than allowing the country to fall into total disarray, they had to spend money. now the whole thing is cutting spending. i have worked my entire life to try to amass some retirement. not making a lot of money or whenever, but they are going to raise my social security age and they are going to cut my benefits because they know they cannot cut the benefits of the individuals on that now. they say they will get the people who are 10 years away or
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whenever. but it is the whole philosophy of the republican party, to cut, cut, cut. why not raise revenue? they cannot see beyond the nose on their face. if you cut benefits for individuals now, what happens if the economy -- and when, for those of us who have an optimistic view of this country and not the pessimism of the republican party, you raise the age of social security. what happens when the economy improves? you cut benefits and age, everything, for people my age? some of us, like obama, have been optimistic view of this country and not just a pessimistic attitude of the republican party. raise revenue. host: here is the headline from
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"the new york post" today. open quote summit snags on tax fight." back to that fellow from "the new york times" this morning. it says that sunday's meeting produced an agreement to meet on monday. just below that photograph is this story that we found. "the economy faces jolt as benefit checks run out."
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host: there is also this piece in "the wall street journal." host: here they point out that some circumstances were similar
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to today. the government was divided between two parties in the president was pursuing deficit reduction at a risk to his own party. illinois, thank you for waiting. good morning. caller: the president is talking about needing to raise taxes and that there were a number of opportunities to do. when he first auto office, he called on congress to repeal the bush tax rates. those talks were quashed. six months ago, why not let them expire? he could have negotiated from that point instead of negotiating from his heels. i do not even think that he does want to raise taxes. host: let's hear from bob.
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caller: it seems to me that the bush tax cuts were put in there to create jobs. let's take away the 2% tax cut that we gave to this super- wealthy, instead saying that we will give you $6,000 for every new employee. a net increase of employees, $6,000 for each one. then we can see whether or not it is for real. i do not think that that is the case. the reason they are not hiring is there is no demand there. without them and you do not have to hire people no matter the tax cuts you get. you will just get richer by saying thank you very much and we will keep doing what we are doing. there are 1 million people in
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china manufacturing the products that apple sells here and around the world. host: one more call in this segment, but shifting gears to "the washington post," the administration has delayed payments of hundreds of millions of dollars in promised military aid to pakistan to reflect its displeasure with that country. host: national, tennessee. dave, republican, what are you looking for today from these that talks? -- debt talks? caller: we know what works.
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monetary policies that will make the dollar stronger. we know that those work. nancy pelosi, harry reid, they have done just the opposite and republicans are not going to raise taxes in the middle of a great recession. i want one democrat to, at any time and show that raising taxes has stimulated the economy. one time. host: the president holds a news conference at 11:00 eastern time today. we will try to hear from as many folks as possible. we do not have an exact time yet, but when we do we will let
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you know. talking about the debt negotiations from tax revenue, adam green will be a long. progressive change campaign committee. we will be right back. ♪ host: i want to emphasize -- >> i want to emphasize that nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.
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>> learn more and follow the process of raising the debt ceiling on line with the c-span video library. it is washington, your way. >> this is a very effective industry. >> tonight, the wireless association and matt lewis discuss a new report on choices that consumers are making in the wireless phone market. >> one-of-a-kind presidential papers, music, video, and more. >> this is the largest map collection in the world.
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>> this has about five growers in that. >> c-span takes you behind the scenes. basie's band original documentary -- >> a c-span th original documentary. >> "washington journal" continues. host: adam green is that the table and he is co-founder of an organization called the progress of green change foundation. your organization, who are you in what is your purpose?
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>> we were formed two years ago. what we do is be held to elect progressive candidates. helping bold and for aggressive legislation in congress, willing to go to bat for progress of paredes. we were encouraging perfect -- president obama not to cut a deal for medicaid in swing states that were unpopular, instead pushing for a clean debt ceiling vote. ultimately, pushing for a big jobs plan. putting people back to work. creating millions down the road. host: off-putting adam green of the progressive change committee, democrats and independents for this segment,
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taking a deeper look into debt and deficit talks. from the obama administration, we have read that you have a campaign to get lots of people to not donate or not volunteer for this president. tell us more. guest: in 2008 i was asking myself what i could do to get barack obama elected. when it comes to the core democratic legacy issues, we cannot have a democratic president's that puts these programs on the chopping block. we are saying, look, sarah palin, 2012, michele bachmann, but when it comes to how we allocate our money and time, we
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will not be supporting the president in the grass roots regard. 160,000 people have gone to that website. 2 million volunteer hours in 2008. it is more of a reality, making it clear to him. host: the president talked about political sacrifices over the weekend. throwing something into the mix to make it work. let's hear briefly from the president. >> i know that republicans and democrats do not see eye to eye on a number of issues. the good news is, we agree on some of the big things. that after a decade of racking up deficits and debt, we need to get our fiscal house in order. to do that both sides will have to step outside of their comfort
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sounds and make political sacrifices. we cannot afford to defaults on our obligations for the first time in our history. we need to uphold the full faith and credit in the united states of america. host: stepping outside of your comfort zone. what does that mean to you? guest: that he is on the verge of cutting a really bad deal. polling four key states in 2012, ohio, minnesota, montana, and one more. in all four states we found that by four to one people do not want to cut social security benefits to cut the debt problem. the president needs to know that he is not going into this negotiation representing half the people.
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adding one more point to that, basically the middle class has sacrificed enough over the last 10 years. we have seen the income of down and the american dream for up regular american working families set aside for the rich and corporations. it is time for the rich and corporations to pay their share. it is finally time to ask them to pay their share. host: what were progressives looking for when they first started with president obama? guest: besides hope and change? the reason i ask my mother to support him in the primary, he was the most effective communicator we had on our side. when it came to making the case for why we needed to finally support middle-class families and ask the rich to pay their
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fair share, unfortunately what we have seen on many issues, making the case in public, rather than going behind closed doors with republicans, no matter how much in the fringe priority the republicans are, what did we have to do to make a deal? there was this great speech at george washington university. paul rate -- paul ryan made the case for why it would be disastrous. surprise, surprise, people showed up to say -- do not do this. republicans, drawing a line in the sand, it was all tossed away. we need to do that more. host: our guest is a graduate of george washington university.
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he was the civic communications director for moveon.org of award. part of the progressive change campaign committee. republican line, oregon, hello. caller: thank you for taking my call. i thought that the stimulus package was to create jobs. when we have a president that could have been the best president ever, the job benefit stimulus package, looking at daylight, we have lost millions of major rv companies and plants. we are out of a job here.
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we have been so thrown under the bus, it is not funny. i do not trust the democrats. it was the republicans. we cannot take a hit. host: she says the stimulus was supposed to be a big jobs program. what happened? guest: i heard you say that's it -- certain stimulus measures worked for the current industry. if that is the case, it is hard to disagree with you. first of all, one problem is
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that the conventional wisdom is that it did not work. to the extent that we save millions of jobs from being eliminated, it did work. part of the reason it did not work was the republican idea. that if you give tax cuts to the wealthy, that it will somehow create jobs. president obama, spending at the nation's infrastructure, the role of wire in the market did internet, behind closed doors with olympia snowe and other republicans that pretend to be moderates but are actually extreme, cut billions of dollars for state spending and cut billions of dollars that actually create jobs. as i look around the state's right now that this entire scenario, just over $100
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million, other states are having these huge foot fights -- huge fights. millions of dollars was cut from the stimulus. as people are losing jobs at the state level, teachers, firefighters, giving up their pension security, we could have benefited from that. we need the president to put on the table massive government investment in jobs, putting this nation back to work. the millionaires' tax, basically going beyond the clinton rates for millionaires, who pay 45% income taxes with a graduated scale. this would all be less than the tax rate under ronald reagan.
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leaving $1 trillion. on top of that, the obama proposal for $250,000 to pay their fair share, another $600 billion. almost at the level that john boehner was talking about. before we ask them to pay their fair share, taking a oil company subsidies. we can do this again by asking the rich and corporations to pay their fair share. over time, we have millions of new taxpayers on the roles that will create -- you have to actually create jobs. you cannot just tax the rich and hope it will do something. host: taking a look at the sense of the senate resolution, folks making the higher income and what they should be doing in this time, you can watch the senate live this afternoon on c- span2. lydia, a democrat, good morning. caller: thank you for having me
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on. thank you for your show. i would like to know, how do we get the politicians to understand that we as citizens need to have you guys or have them understand that the subsidies that go to oil companies and corporations are not necessarily helping create jobs. how do we get them to understand that that is deterring the economic growth. it just hurts the whole aspect of the economy, period, and the people having a resolution of some sort. guest: that is a great question. again, you're not alone in having that recognition.
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we have done a pooling of ohio, montana, minnesota, missouri. by 4-1, people agree that it is time for the rich to pay their fair share. i do not think it is a case of politicians not understanding that corporations and billionaires' not paying taxes -- president obama has not been willing to fully go to bat, take the pressure to the republicans in their home states. he goes behind closed doors with these politicians. democrats who understand this are not fighting hard enough and holding republicans' fee to the fire, so people like you can show up at town meetings and fight back. have a the party base that wants to have day -- the republicans have the party base that was to
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have zero tax increases, even if that means tax increases on large corporations. they have corporate donors that have a vested interest in paying republicans to save billions on tax rolls. people like us need to fight back harder. exert what we have. that is why our website, boldprogressives.org -- we need to make sure that we vote and be willing to go to bat against corporate power, for things like real investment in jobs. host: our guest will be with us for another 25 minutes mr. green, you mentioned some polls. we opened a "tv hill" this morning, and they have been oth another poll.
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62% thought social security needed changes in 2006 vs. 52% in 2011. another interesting number here, 70% of medicare needed changes in 2006 vs. 54% in 2011. any thoughts on this particular numbers? guest: first of all, obviously they are showing growth in the direction -- there is a difference between changing medicare and medicare -- medicare benefit cuts. if people want to save money by saying we are going to pay big corporations less, the government will have the ability to negotiate for drug prices and will get the the same benefits for people to lower-cost, that has to be a change i would be supportive of, but it would not be a benefit to cut. the key question is, do people believe that we should cut medicare benefits in order to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and of the corporations that republicans
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are insisting on. my guess is that it is proven in poland we have done that americans say no to that. republicans are drawing a line in the sand. democrats have a choice. host: next call. good morning. caller: 84 c-span. i have an issue for president obama. the center, moderate people in this country -- i detest the words "entitlement," having a smudge on it. i have worked for 45 years.
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i have paid for that for the 45 years i have worked, and i feel as entitled to its benefits when i retire as i do the entitlement as a do any other social plan in place before i was born. what i see is a battle of the classes taking place in america, and those who have want to not only keep it but have gotten greedy and feel entitled to pay as little tax as they possibly can. that is not in the american spirit. keeper, androthers'
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when the guy next door is unemployed or on food stamps, it is up to all of us to pitch in and make sure that their needs are met. guest: first of all, you sound like a great guy. if you are not on our e-mail list, we need people like you as part of our fight. he said a couple of interesting things they're pretty if you go to a store and hand over your money and expect to get something in return, that is not an entitlement. you are entitled because you paid for it. you're exactly right, millions of americans pay into social security and medicare, and pulling the rug out from under us is not fair. the washington goal should be to increase entitlements security not decrease it. as you talk about the little guy fighting for crumbs, i totally agree with you. we are operating in a false
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sense of crisis brought on by republicans who have every interest in doing what you say. we have a national republican class war against the middle- class, and they're trying to pit middle-class families against each other as a larger share of the pie goes to the super wealthy and big corporations. we need to fight back, and that we are urging president, to do right now. host: a viewer writes, "i was a progressive when i was spending my parents' dime. who's dime is your guest spending -- who is sponsoring it?" guest: we are fortunate to have membership.rant we're up to 20 -- it sounds like there was a big their ad
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spending or parents' money. again, that is a false way of looking at things. right now middle-class families are subsidizing the rich. we have seen active middle class benefits, active taxation on the middle-class, as we have had -- it has been class warfare. we cannot be afraid of just saying it. we need to reverse that class warfare by fighting back. things are happening in a good way in wisconsin. people are really engaged. democrats nationally are fighting on behalf of middle- class families to as much -- just as much as democrats in wisconsin. yesterday, the one-month mark before the big recall. my guess is that if windows is recalled, there will be a ripple effects around the nation. hopefully it will inspire democrats to fight and hold republicans accountable.
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host: where else around the country are you targeting your efforts? guest: wisconsin is ground zero in terms of fighting for working families against class warfare. in ohio there has been a real gutting of rights, getting of local schools, increasing tax -- increasing class sizes to give -- governor john kasich has numbers in the 20% to 30%. attempts to go against the workers and buy into the fall starting point that somehow we need -- the false talking point. we need to have the risk -- the rich and corporations pay their fair share. in my own state of new jersey, chris christie in the last couple of weeks to await the union workers right to negotiate for health care benefit. they cannot even negotiate for them.
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he slashed spending for local schools and communities and then he line-item vetoed $1 million and above. is that is not -- if that is not symbolic of the carrot republican agenda, -- host: george, republican for adam green. good morning. caller: sir, you do realize that 20% are paying 80% of the general fund. if your answer is going to be people also pay other taxes, so do the 20%. you are aware of that also, that people under that pay nothing. when you're speaking to corporations, are you speaking to the aarp and to the giant activist industry that receives grants from the government, which is free money? i am a victim of the progressive
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tax system, and i pay now about 20% a year than i was under clinton, paying 34.9%. you consider that fair. let me ask you two questions. first, is a progressive a socialist or beyond to the left? two, just in percentage, what was your irs liability last year? you spoke to a revolution. people who are disabled collecting a check, and fat too obese -- i do not know about that. why don't we go back to you take care of yours and i will take care of mine? my immediate family will take care of me. i do not understand exactly what you're saying because we, the people who are successful and work around the clock, are paying the entire tab. what scares us if we give you -- and i mean give -- more money,
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you will just spend more, as evidenced in the past. this is my first campaign i'm working on here locally, chris blair for sheriff. i find the political process to be extremely interesting from both sides of the fence. but are you, sir, a socialist? would you consider yourself that instead of using the word " progressive"? host: he asked twice if you were a socialist. why don't you defend yourself first. guest: congratulations. chris blair for sheriff, got a shout-out on national television. the stuff that you said is part of corporate propaganda. socialist? know. my question would be, why are you ok with paying 20% taxes,
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paying 28% taxes when warren buffett, a billionaire, is out there issuing a million dollar challenge, saying i will give a million dollars to any ceo in america that pays higher taxes than his secretary? no one has stepped forward. the middle class is being forced into this position by a false training of the debate, fighting over scraps, fighting over crumbs. unfortunately, the stuff that you just said reflects that. i want you to pay lower taxes, get the medicare benefits you can get into, have a strong retirement security by having social security that you deserve. i want your parents to have that, i want your kids to have that. i do not want you to be paying taxes and for the rich to be paying none. host: next call for adam green, the morning.
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caller: mr. green, thank you, thank you, thank you. finally, a voice that represents the majority of american voters who are, in addition to being democrat, very much progress is. you are a wonderful voice, and you have made my day. goodness, this debt problem is the biggest red herring going on right now. americans have shown in poll after poll over previous weeks that they are far more interested in jobs, job creation, and this debt problem ranks way down on the bottom of the west. yet the republicans managed to keep this with an ownership of practically all of the media in the biggest light possible to make the president look as badly as they possibly can. this is a man who walked into a situation with two wars that were being conducted totally off the books. also, an attempt to fix the
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doughnut hole in medicare, if i am not mistaken, went off the books once again. when president obama assumed office, he promised more of a transparent government in that sense, and he put these things on the books. now he is being accused of running up these massive deficits. republicans managed to do this time after time after time. they incur all of these costs, and when democrats take over, they are left holding the bag. sir, i cannot say thank you enough. please keep on keeping on, talk about exxonmobil and ge and all of these entities that do not pay any taxes. to my knowledge, exxon last year paid zero also. if i am not mistaken, they received a $400 million rebate from the government. people need to be more aware of this, as you are attempting to
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do. i cannot thank you enough, sir, for being a voice. you are particulate, extremely intelligent, and you are the best voice possible for progressives in this country. host: that is betty from new mexico, saying a lot of what you said so far. anything you wanted add? guest: thank you for making my mother's day, grandmother's day. i would invite you to join us. people paying attention like you, we need you as part of the fight. $400 million -- the $400 billion number that you mention going to exxonmobil, as we did not give it aid to states, cutting aid to states, cutting funding for community schools, that is the consequence. one corporation to pay for multiple states' budget gaps
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right now. host: in 2008, and give it -- "in 2008, giving a lot of money to barack obama -- a lot for me --" -- they do not like what they see in these debt talks. where do you go? guest: part of the reason we launched this pledge about where people -- they will not donate to the campaign if you cut benefits. will people vote? we want people to vote? -- wheret let the the par do we spend our money and time? we support both congressional candidates, progressive
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candidates. a progressive senator in new mexico, he is running for martin heinrich's open sea, and he will be up against a blue -- open seat, and he will be up against a blue dog type candidate. he passed a green jobs bill for the state legislature, past can campaign finance reform for that part of mexico. zerbin,lking to rob who is running against paul ryan. step one, do they have progressive issue positions? are they going to lead the fight of progressive issues, not just stand back. some people do work hard, some people do not. third, are they liable to function as who they are for their district?
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even if you are on a fixed income, if you want to pay money to get this candidate elected, that is what we will do due diligence for. host: tennis left with our guest. marshall, michigan. mary, independent, welcome to the program. caller: i would like to know, in all these budget talks, where everything is on the table and i hear about medicare and social security and corporate tax breaks and closing tax loopholes and farm subsidies and all these things, i never hear anything about discussion about the medical benefits for congressmen and senators after they leave office or the wages they receive after they leave office or the war chest they have that they get to cheap. i wonder why these things have not been considered as part of the budget reduction.
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a second part to this question -- i was wondering what will happen to the budget -- instead of a higher rate on their wages -- guest: to your first point about why senators and congressmen are not cutting their own pay, i cannot imagine why that would be. it is important to get caught up on the destruction issues. even this corporate debt thing, it is only a couple million dollars. raising corporate tax rates is going to keep the cutting of benefits off the table. we need to vote for things that will generate the money. there is one thing that is off
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the table in these negotiations, and it needs to be pointed out. it was reported by "the new york times" last night that letting the debt default as off the table. the report of lawmakers from both parties pledged not to let united states default on its debt. mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, said nobody is talking about raising the debt ceiling. i have not heard that discussed by anybody. ask yourself this question. the flooding our country default on the debt is not on the table, why is president obama negotiating at all on social security benefits and medicare benefits and medicaid benefits? what level should the republicans have this is the disaster is negotiating strategy by the president. you need to say there will be a clear debt ceiling vote. if republicans do not like that, i will personally go to
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kentucky, ohio, where john boehner is from. i will hold them accountable until they cave. that is what we need from the president. host: john, atlanta, good morning. you're on with adam green. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to ask a question. basically, it came up a minute before. basically, if these deals that are coming out of the debt talks, these behind closed-door strategy that you mentioned, are to your organizations looking for -- they start talking about cuts to social security, medicaid, medicare -- what is your moved as far as the presidential election for 2012, just purely politically, as far as financial support?
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would you be seeking a primary, viable primary challenger? where are you all going from here? host: is there a primary challenger? there is that presidential question again. guest: i am not positive 100% at this point the president obama will be worunning in the democratic primary. if he does and there is no primary challenger, progress is have a choice on the general election. nobody should not vote. everybody should go to the polls and vote. where do we put our money and where do we put our time? over 160,000 people -- if president obama cuts benefits, we will not be giving him our money or time in 2012.
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host: back to the current congress -- how is the democratic congress doing in terms of its own fight. do you like anything you see from democrats on the side? guest: absolutely. i would give a lot of credit to the progressive caucus. the congressman from arizona, and congressman keith ellison from minnesota, posts about a 80-share caucus, and they launched a letter saying they would not support any deal cutting social security, medicare or medicaid benefits. other groups like moveon.org, creative action, and others, so to have millions of members asking them to create their house democrat and send a letter
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supporting social security and medicare. those of you who want to give a call should definitely give a call. nancy pelosi has been good on this issue. my guess is that she is one of the strongest people in this room as negotiations are happening. harry reid has said that social security is off the table. he deserves all the credit in the world. our goal as a long term is to elect more progressives to congress and make sure that the progressive caucus and progress is in the senate get all the support that they can possibly have. they deserve to have a team on their side. host: the hill has nancy pelosi, the minority leader of former speaker, on the front page, along with senator mitch mcconnell. they want to reassert themselves. "we are still relevant," is the headline. the last call from michigan,
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ron, democrat. good morning. are you there? caller: how are you doing, adam? president obama ran against a trade agreement, and all of a sudden he has three of them that he is endorsing. if you are talking about jobs, we are losing so many jobs due to outsourcing. it is crazy, and that is our tax base, so as far as he should revise them, get the corporations on the polls, it tariffs come and hit them on a flat tax. what do you think about it? guest: when we talk about -- we have schools built during the eisenhower and kennedy administration. they will need to be rebuilt some day. why not do it now? when we talk about doing it now, are those in other countries rebuilding our schools, or will those be good paying american jobs? the same goes with wiring rural
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america with the internet. if we invest in rebuilding our country, rebuilding the american dream, that will be a whole base of american jobs. i agree with you that that needs to be a priority. on the trade deal stuff, we cannot be giving away the store. while we have -- we can tell republicans that we need strong labor standards in this country, workplace health, workplace safety, and a lot of people negotiate for health-care benefits. while we have environmental standards in this country, other countries do not. we need to have that as part of the trade agreements, absolutely. to the extent that we do not have that, we are undercutting our own national standards, our own workers, our american environment. that is a pretty disastrous policy going forward. host: at 9:15 this morning, we will have the third installment
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on our trade agreement series, focusing on korea, and columbia. this morning it will be panama. john, independent, good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to go back to the tax rate issue. we have a president right now who says the top tax rate is not high enough. i agree that the top wage earners may not be paying the correct about what they should be paying, but we have a president right now who says people at his tax rate, and his income level, should be paying a higher tax rate. yet he files a 60-plus-page tax returns with enough deductions write-down -- dropping his own tax rate down to 24%. if he truly believes it is wrong for people making as much as him should be paying more
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taxes, why is he doing something he thinks is wrong? also, your guest did not answer the question to the business owner who asked him what his tax rate was? he will not answer that. he must love the venue because he does not have to answer that question. host: final thought from our guest? guest: i will not let people know my exact rate, but i paid my fair share in taxes and i do not take a ton of deductions. i do not think the president said taking deductions on -- people who pay college loans is a bad thing. i would not criticize him if he took legal deductions. i cannot address that question. i would go back to the bottom- line point, which is somebody like warren buffett, a billionaire, issued a public challenge, acl that pays more
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than -- acl that pays less in tax -- for a ceo that pays less in taxes than their secretary he would pay $1 billion for a ceo that pays more taxes. join us at boldprogressives toward. we have 750,000 members now. maybe next time i am on we will have a million. host: our guest has been adam green, a co-founder of the progressive change campaign committee. thank you for your time this morning. guest: thank you, too. host: we will take a timeout and focus on tax revenue. our guest will be scott hodge, president of the tax foundation. >> it's 8:31 a.m. eastern time.
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secretary of defense leon panetta has arrived in iraq where he is telling american troops that the u.s. will not walk away from the challenge of iran's stepped-up army of iraqi insurgents targeting and killing american troops. the secretary went on to say that iraq must go after the shiite militia more aggressively, this as three rockets fired from a shiite neighborhood hit baghdad's green zone during his visit. no casualties were reported. another top u.s. official is in china today. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen, is meeting with type -- with top chinese military officers. visited the first of its kind in four years. turning to u.s. presidential politics -- gop presidential hopeful michele bachmann is leading mitt romney, according to a newly released poll of iowa caucus.
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a poll by a the "de mowing register" shows mitt romney leading mitt romney by one percentage point. those are some of the latest headlines by c-span radio. >> c-span has launched a new easy-to-navigate web site, with twitter feed and facebook updates from political reporters. links to c-span media partners. visit us at c-span.org /campaign2012. >> you are watching c-span, bringing to you politics and public affairs. "washington journal" in the morning. weeknights, congressional hearings and policy forums. on the weekend, you can see our
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signature interview programs. on saturday, "the communicator's." on sunday, "newsmakers," "q&a." you can watch programming any time at c-span.org. it is all searchable. c-span, washington your way. a public service created by american's cable companies. "washington journal" continues. host: our guest is scott hodge, president of the tax foundation, to talk about debt negotiations and tax revenue issues that are out there. here is one of the headlines, "new york post." "before catastrophic damage, summit snags on tax fight." would you like to see happen? guest: we would like to see fundamental tax reform, and as a means of making the tax code
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simpler, more efficient, and more economically beneficial, but not as a means of raising more revenue to the government. we think taxes are as high as they need to be. spending is the problem right now, and we need to tackle the spending issue. tax reform is important because we have -- i think the tax code is dragging down the american economy. it is overly complicated, the rates are too high. america has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, which makes the u.s. less competitive. we need to address our tax system for the competitive reasons. host: the president is holding a news conference at 11:00 eastern time today. and the talks continue, we hear, this afternoon. scott hodge is here to talk about it. so much has been made of the tax loopholes and subsidies, brakes,
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whatever you want to call them, for corporate jet owners, other companies. what is your perspective? guest: anecdotes do not always tell the whole tale, and we have to put a lot of this in perspective. the amount of tax preferences in the code are about $100 billion a year. that pales in comparison to the amount of preferences on the individual side of the tax code. that is $900 billion a year. it surprises people often to know that there are nine times as many loopholes for individuals as there are for corporations. of what is available for corporations, it is a tiny share that is available for oil and gas companies or these so-called corporate jet the polls. that, interestingly enough, was part of the economic stimulus plan that president obama signed two years ago. he was for it then, but i guess he is against it now.
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host: you mentioned simplifying the tax code. is the idea not to raise revenue? what is the idea of a simplified tax code? guest: reducing the drag that the tax code has on the nation's economy. it surprises a lot of people to know that the u.s. has one of the most progressive individual income tax systems in the industrialized world. the top 10% of taxpayers pays a greater share of our burden than any other country in the oece region, 30 of the largest economies. we have a progressive system, which surprises a lot of people. getting back to talking about corporate taxation, our corporate tax system is making united states less competitive than the global economy. in the last four years alone, 75 countries have cut their corporate taxes to make themselves more competitive. we have been standing still and
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losing ground, and that is hurting competitiveness, hurting the ability of u.s. companies to compete in the global economy. host: we go to new jersey, deborah, for scott hodge of the tax foundation. caller: i remember when president obama first came into the white house and there was a question about the helicopter, that we should have bought a new helicopter. he for when that -- he forewent that. considering all of the other american presidents up to today, when president obama came in, now we are teetering on the side of the mountain to go over -- we should look at americans and the type of people we have in our
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government now who are being so selfish that they do not want to follow. he made the decision not to do hen he cut for the poor people. the rich people do not want to take it, but they want their corporate jet. thank you. guest: it is up to both congress and the white house to keep their own budgets as efficient as possible. that is not where a lot of the money is. there is a misperception about the rich paying their fair share. there is a misperception about this point when we look at irs data about how much the irs collect with different income groups, the top 1% of taxpayers -- families earning above $350,000 a year -- they pay almost 40% of all the income
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taxes in america. that is a greater share than everybody who earns up to $100,000 a year combined. our top 1% of taxpayers pays a greater share of the income tax burden than the bottom 90% combined. that is quite a disparity. one of the problems we're having today is that millions of people have been knocked off the tax rolls as congress does more to help the middle class. they have created a lot of new tax credits that work to knock people off the tax rolls. almost half of all americans now do not pay income taxes. that is a record share of the population that pays no income taxes. that is a problem for both our democracy, to have all these people that benefit from the government but pay nothing in to the cost, but it is also a problem for government finances. you cannot balance the budget on the backs of half the population. then the other half is benefiting from government
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paying nothing into the tax system. host: clearwater, kansas. art, republican, good morning. caller: my question is about something i heard a couple months back that the president was going to sign an executive order having to do with requiring companies to report what they were contributing to political campaigns. i do not know if he ever signed that. i have not heard anything more about that. it was described by one of the radio talk shows as "political thuggery." did that happen? guest: i am afraid i do not know the into to that. i have heard similar kinds of reports, but i do not know what the eventual outcome is. certainly, political contributions, everyone should be free to do that. whether or not you should have to reveal your political contributions is a whole other
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story and is up to constitutional lawyers rather than me as an economist. host: our guest is scott hodge, president of the tax foundation. he helped found the heartland institute in 1984, was also director of citizens for a sound economy. this notion of of simplifying the tax code has been put out there as something they might decide on down the road. guest: i doubt there is time to do a radical overhaul of the federal tax system within the few months -- the next few months, but it needs to be done soon. it is unlikely to happen next year, an election year. we're really looking at 2013 as the most logical time that congress and the white house could address the tax system. but it is an important thing that needs to happen.
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the last time we reformed the tax system was in 1986, so it we are a generation away from reforming the tax code. again, it is all about making the tax system more efficient, less of a drag on the economy, and getting rid of -- we talked about loopholes, and the president has made a big deal about that. it is important that as we streamline the tax code and get rid of the things that the congress and white house are doing to micromanage the economy, by introducing these various kinds of deductions, credits, and exemptions. host: revenues or taxes have been on the table. is there anything your organization would support in that area right now? guest: we are very reluctant to support increasing tax rates. we think those are the most harmful types of tax increases for the economy. tax rates are already, i think,
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too high, especially corporate taxes. i think there are different ways you can approach this. one, simply reforming the tax system and improving the efficiency of the tax system, could lead to economic benefits which would raise more men -- more revenues for the government. if you could change certain things, eliminate some of the other fiscal drags, but in terms of raising taxes, i do not think this is the time to do that. host: jack is on the line, it independent. caller: i have a couple comments. the first one, the democrats and republicans are both equally at fault due to all this overspending, and the republicans overspend when they were in power. the same as democrats. they need to cquit worrying about what is good for their party and do what is good for
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the american people. that is what they have to understand. i do not think they think of it that way, but they need to. my second comments -- the disabled and senior citizens have gotten a cost-of-living raise. if it ever fails, the house and the senate, they give themselves a $2,200 a year raise themselves. that makes the disabled and the senior citizens -- they feel deprived because they are out here in the real world and they do not have a government paying for their bottled water and so on and so forth. those are the two comments i want you to speak on. host: anything you want to respond to there? guest: you have a right to be angry. watching the budget battle, as
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members of congress try to use the most sensitive taxpayers, most sensitive recipients of government benefits for their own political purposes. meanwhile, you have all these government programs full of waste and abuse. the general accounting office has issued a report saying there are over $75 billion a year in checks sent in a fraudulent manner even to deadbeats or to fraudulent providers, or they simply do not know where the checks actually went. instead of addressing these problems, politicians tend to try to use the most sensitive taxpayers for their own political purposes, and i can see why it is so frustrating. host: a twitter question -- " does your guest admit that a corporate tax increase either passed on to consumers, or result in less employment?" guest: the burden of real corporate taxation either falls
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on workers through lower wages, consumers through higher prices, or to shareholders through lower dividends. if you were to raise the corporate tax, it would affect either consumers through higher prices, or, what is most likely to happen, it would affect workers through lower wages. that's a very concerning element for any sort of a tax increase, the effect it would have on american workers. host: "mr. hodge, would you personally risk default for the u.s. to keep tax rates help the?" guest: this is not about embracing more tax rates on the healthy. while the white house and many democrats have tried to make this an issue about the rich paying their fair share, they like to do so while ignoring the fact that half of americans pay no income taxes whatsoever. we have a lot of political
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rhetoric being thrown around, but right now i do believe the so-called rich pay more than their fair share, and any increase on them would be most harmful, in particular because a lot of those high-income individuals or business owners -- more than half of the business owners, raising the top rates would hit them directly. host: from lake michigan, democrat, for scott hodge, the morning. caller: a couple questions. i am a democrat and i still at many levels believe that everybody in this country is overtaxed. i think that a lot of the problems are coming from places like china where they falsely manipulate their economy. i believe those things are drastically affecting our economy when, like before, they
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are saying that gdp -- the only way we can pay off a debt is if we are working. taxpayers pay the debt, they spend too much, they spend the social security. they give money to countries that steal it. another thing is, i feel that a lot of the problems would go away if they take the -- it corporations have the right, under the constitution, as other americans do. an entity that is worth billions of dollars has no conscience, no soul, does not care if a person works, is actually dictating what is going to happen in this country. host: let's hear from alison
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from national. then we will come back to our guest. alison, republican, go ahead, please. caller: he makes the claim that any taxation of corporations would be moved on to uamericans, and at the same time he says the highest percentage of americans are paying not their fair share. guest: we are just looking at the data. half of all americans pay no income taxes. they may pay other types of taxes, whether gasoline taxes or payroll taxes. but with the generosity of many of the deductions that we have in the code, especially the income tax credit, the child credit that we now have, this 50% of americans paying no income tax at all. but in perm's of the corporate income tax, it is -- in terms of the corporate tax, it is passed
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along to consumers and workers to higher prices and lower wages. think about it this way. what if the cost of raw materials went up? if you are a steel manufacturer and the price of your raw materials goes up, you'd have to deal with the higher prices in some fashion. you either have to cut costs or pass along those higher prices to your customers. the same thing goes with taxes. can not necessarily to absorb it. you have to pass that along somewhere else within the firm, either through higher prices or lower wages. host: steven from arlington, texas, an independent college. caller: you say that the rich pay most of the taxes in this country? that is because they now have all the money, thanks to policies put in place primarily in the last 10 years or so, reagan, really. you also commented that a lot of people not pay any taxes? there is no reason at all who is
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at or below the poverty level, which means they can barely stay alive, that they should pay anything more than zero. what i am hearing now is not if but when it comes, they hope that what happens is more like the american revolution and the french revolution. if you do not understand that, you need to go look it up. host: anything you want to respond to? guest: going back to the irs data, that is really the fact, so we do not want to confuse political rhetoric with what we're seeing in the data. the wealthiest 1% of americans are earning 18%, at 19% of what is in the economy. a lot of these people and business owners, but they pay 30% of income taxes, so they are paying almost twice -- they pay 30% of income taxes, so they are paying almost twice, -- they
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pay 38% of income taxes, so they're paying almost twice their share of the tax burden for the income that they earn. host: let me throw some numbers at you from the economic policy iinstitute. tax revenue fell to 18% of gdp. they make the broader point that they are ineffective in terms of employment, the bush- era tax cuts. guest: the congressional budget office released a report recently looking at the tax cuts over time, and they find it contributed to a little over 25% to our current deficit. a lot -- the majority of what we see in the deficits they come from spending and a lot of the economic changes rather than tax cuts themselves. getting to the broader point,
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some of the tax cuts do not. the child tax credit, for instance, or the other types of credits that have the effect of sort of spending through the tax code, really do not have a positive impact. on the economy or on creating jobs. lower tax rates, those do have more of an impact. that is why we worry about increasing those top rates, because it would affect largely business owners. that would be detrimental to the long-term economy. host: another tweak here says, "mr. hodge, in a capitalist society, with the capital calling the shots, who is to blame?" guest: there is no consensus of why we are in this rudderless economy, who is driving the economy.
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this stimulus spending that is dragging the economy, others would say it is more systemic. i really do not know the into to that. host: washington, mary, a democrat for scott hodge. caller: what i'm hearing is, there is a disparity between what the wealthy pay and the rest of us pay. my take away is, we do not have the tax problem, we have a wage problem. very wealthy people accumulating most of united states capitol are not paying workers for their work if they did, if people demanded a reasonable wage and benefits package, it would be paying taxes and it would not be a big issue. guest: that is an interesting perspective. in a market economy, workers
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get the income that -- or the wages that employers can afford. to give them. we are in a highly competitive global economy, so there is a limit to what employers can offer their workers. to remain competitive, to produce products that are affordable to consumers. it is a highly competitive markets, and there is a limit to what government can do to fix that. host: let's hear from robert, cumberland, rhode island. good morning. caller: i would like to get my point across and then listen. i cannot believe that we're giving $100 billion a year in foreign aid. nobody is looking at cutting any of that. we also have the federal government, nobody looking at cutting 1 federal government program. we have all these free trade agreements taking millions of jobs. in turn, they cut the tariffs
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that the federal government use to get in. but to make up that money, they have cut aid to the states to make up for that money. we have never seen the benefits because of this. all we have seen is job losses. why don't they turnaround and produce -- reverse some of these failed policies, because it is obvious to me that shipping jobs overseas, president obama signing a free- trade agreement with korea does us no good, and not even the republicans are mentioning it. i am very disgusted. guest: america's competitiveness i think is being threatened because of our federal policies. tax policies, of course, is my keen interest in this. i'm most worried about the u.s. competitiveness on corporate taxes in particular. 75 countries have cut corporate taxes. in just the last four years alone, the united states has an
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overall corporate tax rate that is about 40%, whereas the global average is closer to 25%. china's corporate tax rate is 25%. while the united states may not be able to compete with china, we should be a book -- compete with china with wages, we should be able to compete with china with corporate taxes. to make the united states more of a competitor in the global economy. host: in "the washington journal," they write, "taxes upon taxes upon taxes." "we think mr. baker is making the sensible choice. no one wants to make -- reform
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the tax code more than we do, but passing a $1 trillion tax increase first on the promise of tax reform later is a political trap. host: anything you want to add to that? guest: it is interesting to note that the president put together two blue-ridden panels last year, -- blue ribbon panels last year, one chaired by paul volcker. cutting the tax rate, streaming the deductions in the code, and of course what we call the bulls-simpson deficit reduction commission. -- the bowles-since in deficit reduction commission. i think two of those proposals could have been a very, very positive step toward -- forward in brokering an agreement between the white house and
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republicans. host: an e-mail for you -- "rich people can write off two homes, a yacht, and in call a got a home for deduction purposes. with so many people not able to afford even the one home, is it time to eliminate the yacht or second house deduction?" guest: i think as we look at streamlining the tax code and eliminating deductions while we reduce tax rates, i think eliminating the markets -- the mortgage interest deduction should be part of that discussion. the mort -- the morgan is in -- mortgage industry is not allowed to help a lot of americans. a lot of other countries do not have a mortgage interest deduction, and get their home full ownership rate is about the same as ours.
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i do think we ought to put the entire mortgage deduction on the table for elimination as we look at the tax system. 15 minutes left with mr. hodge. jr. is on the line. mr. hodge -- caller: mr. hodge, i would like to ask you a question. number one, just me alone, i could create 3 million to 20 million jobs in 10 years, if i could do that, i would cut the debt. the republicans and democrats, both of them, are one government in the same. if what are they trying to do? the $2 trillion that this president is warning to borrow from china or wherever he is willing to borrow it from, think
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about it like this. what does the imf and everything want for the epa? they want to roesch jillian per year -- they want to dollars trillion per year. 2 trillion. it will hurt the poor and middle class. it is a smokescreen. they have enough to pay our debt. host: any response? guest: this gets to the heart of the issue of the size of government and spending. and the need to borrow more money. that is why it is critical that the white house and the congress get together, come up with an agreement and start reducing the deficit and then begin to reduce
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the national debt. it is not a member of -- it does not matter where we are borrowing the money from. if we're putting the burden on our children, it is simply wrong. if we can reduce the deficit and the dead, the more we can reduce the burden on our kids. -- the deficit and the debt to, the more we can reduce the burden on our kids. host: here is a tweet. do you want to speak to that? guest: that is my goal, the companies and individuals are able to take a advantage of certain things. u.s. corporations opposed -- at a certain level is 35%. and after including depreciating investment and so forth, the overall ratings pay comes down to 26% on average. but do not forget that companies
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also pay income abroad. u.s. companies pay foreign taxes to foreign governments. that burden ultimately gets passed on to you and i in some fashion. host: our guest is the president of the tax foundation. taxfoundation.org is the website. guest: we have been around since 1937, entirely privately funded. if we accept no government funds. we do not have an endowment. our mission is to provide basic information about public finances to the taxpayers and lawmakers, and we do not just focus on federal policy. about half the work we do is aimed at state and local policy
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as well. we're constantly analyzing taxes account the state and local level. host: what do you see at the state level that you want to mention? guest: there are a number of states are trying to reform their tax system. indiana, for instance, just cut their corporate tax rate. if other states are moving aggressively to reform their tax codes, new jersey is one. but then we see other states that are moving in the other direction. illinois is perhaps the biggest example, where they passed a massive tax rate increase on individuals and corporations earlier this year. the government has given away some of the because some of the companies were threatening to leave. host: host: -- host: jacksonville, fla., could morning. caller: you stated that top tier
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pay more for the taxes. my question would be, these people benefit from their contracts, number-one. and i have a question on to a security. it is social security paid for itself, or adding to our debt at the current time? and my last statement is, do these people participate in the military? peter them, their families or their children -- either of them, their families or their children? guest: way comes to assure security, right now, social security is -- when it comes to social security, right now it is starting to pay out. one of the problems is that over
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time, we have fewer and fewer benefits because we have fewer employees. we have to look down the road and when our children are in the workforce, will they be able to pay for our benefits? right now there is an increase in benefits that this sort of big to enter the system so that when you and i retire 20 and 30 years from now, we will be getting more benefits than the system can fully support. we need to think in terms of how we can scale back some of those benefits, protect the core, but do not overburden the kids in the workforce. that is the critical question in the white house and congress, both when it comes to social security, but also particularly with medicare. host: mass., eddie, republican, good morning. caller: raising the debt limit means you have to print more money. as you know, china now is right
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-- is buying euros. if japan is selling our treasurys because of the tsunami. now we are going to go into qe3, but that is like a ponzi scheme. it will not solve the problem. you have got to stop spending money. host: moving over to georgia, in defending collar. caller: i have a couple of comments. number one, we are talking about the debt and money we are spending. why haven't we cut funds from the space program? and the money for pakistan, because of their monkeying a round, why can't that be for the united states? number three, why can't the congressman [unintelligible]
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i get $100 on food stamps. i get my check on the third and then i'm broke. social security and medicaid, i cannot even afford to pay the premium on medicaid. guest: you are expressing a lot of frustrations that many people have. but there are a lot of ways that we can cut the size of government without hurting the most sensitive people like yourself. there are a lot of programs that have outlived their usefulness. we have a lot of things the government does that could be sold off to the private-sector. the government owns utilities.
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the government should not be in the electric business. we should sell those off. we should sell off amtrak. we should consider privatizing the post office. there are a lot of things that the government could be considering to do that are being elsewhere -- being done elsewhere across the globe by smarter government. host: canceling the meeting to bring up the balanced budget amendment next week. is that a good idea? guest: most states have balanced budget rules. some live up to them, some do not. it depends on whether congress can live with in it. i would like to see a balanced budget amendment, but i will not hold my breath. host: following up on that comment from a lower income person, this tweet.
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guest: what people often this when i say living things like the mortgage interest deduction, as we eliminate these deductions we would dramatically lower tax rates. it would make people at least as well off when you are "taking away their benefits of" because you are reporting that with lower tax rates. you have a much simpler tax system to deal with, one that they could hopefully do on the back of an envelope rather than having to hire accountants and lawyers. host: holly in michigan, a democrat, good morning. caller: i have a question for mr. hodge pertaining to the east -- to the 1980's. when the middle class was being demonized and the lack of productivity.
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what is going on right now is the lack of taxes that these offshore corporations and conglomerations for the u.s. are not being taxed. it is a lack of patriotism. all they are interested in is the rhetoric. guest: the caller brings of one of the bigger misconceptions in the current debate, and that is, whether or not companies are paying their fair share of the profits they earn abroad. u.s. companies that earn profits abroad do pay income taxes on those profits, but they paid them to those countries where those profits are earned. if a company is doing business in canada, germany, or malaysia, they are paying taxes to those countries when they earn profits in those countries.
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the question is, should they face an additional tax when they bring them back to the u.s.? i think that is double taxation. i think that is unfair of the u.s. to tax them a second time. but that is what our system and tails. that is one of the big debates that is going on, whether or not u.s. companies should pay more on those profits when they bring them back to the u.s. host: next caller is an independent. go ahead, steve. caller: i think we should come up with a flat tax base across the board, which would lower it to about 15%. and we should eliminate the federal income tax return system altogether. i think it would definitely increase our deficit if we did that. if we did that we might be able
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to save social security and medicaid. host: we have punta gorda, fla. on the line. go ahead, john. caller: have been hearing that fought tax for a decade -- for decades -- we have been hearing about the flat tax for decades, but we will never see it. we are dependent upon government handouts. those that do pay taxes are under the oppressive some of the irs. if you look back in history, we thought the roman empire was oppressive. they struck a 10% tax from everybody. the average citizen pays 40% when you look at state and local taxes and all the other fees. host: where do you think this
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debt and deficit conversation should be doing? guest: those are two different things. it is going to go down to the wire. secretary geithner said of the second is the deadline. i think it will go right up to august 1. then they will pass a short-term extension to get them through a month or so of negotiations. given the history of this white house and this congress, it is going to off to the wire. we almost saw it a government shutdown in the spring. we side with the bush tax cut extension to the fall. and -- we saw it with the bush tax cut extensions in the fall. host: we appreciate your time this morning. guest: thank you for having me. host: we have about 45 minutes left and when we come back we will talk about the u.s.-panama trade deal. there are three countries in the trade deal that are implied. in the meantime, here is an
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update from c-span radio. >> more on the debt negotiations between congress and a white house. the top-ranking democrat on the budget committee in a nationally broadcast interview says, "the sides are at loggerheads." he added that republicans refused any tax breaks for special interests and folks at the high end of the income scale. meanwhile, south carolina republican senator jim the mint says president obama "still has yet to give us a proposal that we can accept or reject." we will hear more about the debt negotiations at 11:00 a.m. when the president has a news conference at the white house. stock futures are down amid fears about the global economy
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that concerns have spread beyond greece to italy and spain. the u.s. might fail to pay its debts to the first time in history of the republicans and democrats cannot agree to a deal by august 2. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> i think by any measure is an effective the competitive industry. >> we think there are too many structural barriers. >> tonight, the wireless association discuss a new sec report on the choices consumers are making on the wireless for -- a new fcc report on the taurus is consumers are making on the wireless internet. >> this is the mark -- largest
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not collection in the world. -- largest map collection in the world. >> we have over 8500 cases. >> the george washington papers have about 65,000 items. the thomas jefferson papers had about 27,000 items. >> c-span takes you behind the scenes of the like -- largest library in the world, the library of congress. >> "washington journal" continues. host: over these past three days, "washington journal" along with the hill newspaper have been examining trade deals that are pending out there in congress. on saturday we looked at the south korean trade agreement. yesterday, we talked about columbia.
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-- colombia. today we will talk about the u.s.-panama agreement. how does this work? guest: this is an agreement we signed in 2006 and we first presented to the international trade commission for evaluation in 2007. it is a small deal compared to the south korea and colombia agreements, which are also pending before congress. in fact is so small that the itc could not quantify the effect on employment. there are sectors that will be more effective than others, particularly agriculture. for example, rice is expected to increase in exports from the u.s.. that is the biggest one. pork, 96%. the overall issue is that panama's economy is so small
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that it will not have a huge effect in and of itself. the controversy has been in general that it is a proxy about trade policy. are we going to go back to the era under bush and the republican congress were there were a lot of small free trade deals being passed? host: our guest is eric wasson, staff writer for the hill. total u.s. exports, $6.1 billion. that includes mineral fuel, machinery, and electrical machinery, aircraft, low volume shipments, all of this off according to the trade representative's office. total u.s. imports from panama, just under $400 million. u.s. imports include fish and seafood, precious stones, fruits
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and nuts, and sugars. give us a sketch of panama. guest: panama's exports to the u.s. already enjoyed mostly duty-free treatment. for panama, this is an issue of getting closer relations with the u.s. it is almost like a good housekeeping seal of approval when you get that in place is like saying to the investing world, this is done in the economy -- this is an economy that is open to investment. until last week the organization for economic cooperation and development have panama on its gray list as a tax haven. in the run-up to this agreement to being submitted to congress, which it could be later this summer, the u.s. negotiated a tax information exchange agreement with panama. that went into effect in april.
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that will allow access to bank information in panama. the unions are still opposed to this, especially the afl-cio, and groups like public citizen. they say, let's have this new tax regime in place for a while and have that -- and investigate how it is working before the other things. host: the topic of jobs always comes up when we speak about trade agreements. speak about jobs on both sides. guest: in coming imports are not going to be great from panama. this is not the south korean deal. there will be a surge above hyundai pickup trucks coming in, possibly laying off autoworkers.
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here you are looking for companies that will be moving production overseas. and one of the deals that they particularly focus on is all of these deals have investor-state dispute mechanisms. an arbitration outside the court system. in a lot of countries, the judiciary system is very slow, even corrupt, and they want access to revise reform. -- to a faster forum. host: our first guest is tony, democrat from tennessee. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i want to know why we keep instituting these nafta tie plans.
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before nafta came about we were doing so well here in america. when nafta came about, america went to hell in a handbasket. about doing these free trade agreement. if we are importing more than we are exporting. we used to be an industrialized nation. we are not doing anything anymore. guest: it is a very good question. it definitely reflects the skepticism about trade agreements throughout the country. a lot of polls show that a great percentage of the american public is skeptical about trade. to answer your question, there are many different parts. part of it has to do with the state to put -- state department pushing for these kinds of deals. the panama canal is a very important international trade asset. to increase u.s. relations with
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panama is very important. there's also a general theory about trade, which is, if it looks propertproperly, each couy will specialize where they can. four countries will focus on certain goods and the u.s. will focus on intellectual property and silicon valley. the obama administration is pursuing these trade deals with that in them. after the may 10, 2007 deal, that included protection for labor unions and require the panama respect the national labor organization 1988 core principles of bargaining and other aspects of rights.
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panama's labor laws have been changed within the last year. smaller businesses within certain proffering zones did not allow labor groups and the like. those have been changed. they have succeeded in changing the model by incorporating more labor and environmental protections into these agreements. but yes, they are pursuing free trade. for which has disbeliefs -- which has displeased many people in the democratic party. host: the whole idea of taa, the trade adjustment assistance -- >> a good point. -- guest: a good point.
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trade adjustment assistance is a program that has been put in place that is not very well- known. it functions almost like employment insurance. it provides benefits and training to workers who can show they lost their jobs through international trade. that was expanded as part of the obama stimulus package in 2009 to include more service workers and more health care benefits. republicans do not like the expansion because in this time of debt talks they do not want to spend money on anything like that. what the obama administration is insisting is that the taa changes its extension of these new benefits to be packaged with the caribbean free-trade agreement. it is really on clear how this will play out. on the substance of taa, there is an agreement between the finance committee chairman, max
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baucus, and the ways and means is chairman, the republican from michigan on how it will be extended to service workers. if bolten the lapse. that seems to satisfy -- it will ultimately collapse. that seems to satisfy both camps. it is not clear yet when it is going to be resolved. host: cure some of the details for eligibility. -- here are some of the details for eligibility.
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another call for eric wasson. mark from new jersey, independent scholar. caller: i was on the phone this morning talking about what you are talking about here. by running for statewide office here in new jersey. i am completely against the trade deals. we take and shipping our jobs overseas. we sell the value of the american people out. it is time to put this to an end, restore tariffs as the
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founding fathers intended them to be. it is supposed to be about us and not the multinational corporations. host: what office are you running for in jersey? caller: for the state assembly in the 24th district. host: what do you think? it pretty passionate collar. guest: very passionate, and free tic -- free trade deals are difficult in congress. if you talk to people like charlie rangel, was the former chairman of the ways and means, he would say that the constituency for job losses to trade, even if it is a smaller number, they speak more loudly than the ones to benefit. the ones who benefit -- one of the benefits is a floor prices. if you look at the cost of a house, the share has gone down.
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everybody benefits from cheaper clothing that can be made in another country. nobody is going to get passionate and call in to c- span, and brought about that. the people who lose their jobs, to them, they are disproportionately affected and they are very active. host: on the crisis that you mentioned, if a deal like this is passed, how long before we feel the effects? guest: a lot of things depend. for example, in the korean free trade agreement, if you were looking to buy a pickup truck, you might see the price come down in the 10th year or something like that. but you probably will not call into c-span to read you got this great deal because of lower prices. you'll hear from our workers who have not been able to necessarily compete.
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panama, again, it is a very small economy. 90% of their products already coming to the u.s. without tariffs. it will not be a huge change in imports with this agreement. host: john in idaho. caller: you mentioned earlier the international trade commission. and the world trade organization. are those part of the u.n.? guest: that is a good question. the international trade commission is an independent audit here in the u.s. that adjudicates -- independent body here in the u.s. that adjudicates cases and evaluates free trade agreements. and the world trade organization is not part of the euan.
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other countries control about. host: why do you ask? caller: is supposed to be the constitution that controls our trade. the american people have a lot of power in this. they might not realize it. when these free trade agreements come up, everybody should call their representatives and senators and tell them what they feel about this free trade era. -- this free trade. when you look at the products of the store, everyone of them has a number on the back you can call. if you are not in favor of the manufacturing offshore, a voice your opinion on it. do not buy the stuff. if i buy everything american made. i do not buy foreign products. you go on line and there are hundreds of websites that sell all american made products. it is time for us to stand up as
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a country and citizenry and stop buying this imported stuff. host: that was drawn from idaho. to the point about the phone calls to congress, can you describe the pressure that certain members have been getting? guest: i think there is pressure, definitely. the house trade working group, which is a large number of democrats who have passed -- in the past signed on to a manifesto saying they need to adjust completely revamp u.s. trade policy. is true that in the constitution, is controlled by congress. -- commerce is controlled by congress. the president was granted powers through the special legislation from congress the ability to negotiate trade agreements and have them expedited through congress.
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this means that it will get an up and down vote and it cannot be amended. this is especially important. examine the amendment can really change a deal. other countries simply will not negotiate deals if they think congress will come back later and change it. the fast-track authority expired in 2007. republicans want obama to seek a renewal of it. it mitch mcconnell, the minority leader, has been pushing for that part of the -- to be part of the free trade package. host: we have seen some of the meetings on the hill, these trade agreements. and what is the timetable to get this package done? guest: one of the things that is pushing things is a career in
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free trade agreement. spot -- caribbean free-trade agreement. -- south korean free trade agreement. there is a sense the south korea is also in agreement with europe and canada, and the country's often compete with the u.s. -- of these countries often compete with the u.s. there is a fear that we will lose out on market share. there is a fear that on things that both the u.s. and canada produce, we will see our market share decline. there will be benefits, whether it is rice, corn, beef, financial-services. there are many institutions eager to get into panama and
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they do not want to see market share lost. host: we know there is a multibillion-dollar offer to expand the canal in panama. can you connect to this trade agreement to that effort? guest: it is a $5 billion effort and it will be completed in 2014. under the trade agreement, the u.s. does not get any special access for the contracts on the panama canal, but when the building is going on, necessarily there are more goods nagin there. -- goods are needed in there. there is some impetus to get in our wall the -- to get in now while the expansion is going on. host: how was the economy of panama doing?
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guest: i think they're doing all right, but i could not give you gdp figures. host: let's move on. marion -- mariann, a democrat. caller: i have been trying to connect the dots. wall street is sitting on $1.8 trillion and is not investing in this country. is wall street waiting for these trade deals to go through so they can invest in colombia, panama, and south korea? guest: that is a good question. i do not think these free trade deals are a major factor to economists in any sense. there are a lot of explanations. we could go to public uncertainty about the deficit. there are worries about the economic recovery.
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this is a general problem for policy makers right now, how to get them off the sidelines. but i do not think the pending free trade agreements have a huge role in that. host: marcus is on the line. good morning. caller: the democracy in the is the democracy in you. we are all united on one basis, that our economy must stand. if we are the goals of this continent, -- if we are the goals of this continent, then everything southern of us will be our labor and splendor. thank you. host: massachusetts, republican
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collar. good morning. caller: at the beginning of your interview you mentioned panama exports shellfish to the u.s. or any of these other free trade agreements -- are any of these other free trade agreements, these countries, would they be willing to abide by these agreements around torade know? guest: the u.s. has over the years tried to find a labeling for dolphin safe tuna. that has been a controversy in the wto.
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i do not know where panama stance. host: back to the u.s., do some states benefit more than others? guest: definitely states that have major ports. of the port of los angeles can certainly benefit from trade, and has, certainly, in trade with china. i think it is very product specific. for example, washington state is a place for growing is located and boeing is a major -- where boeing is located and boeing is a major competition for airbus. a market like korea, there is a sense that we need to get in there. you might see places like washington state benefiting more than others.
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but this of panama and colombia deal, there may be benefits for our kowalczyk. -- for agriculture. whether it is corn producing states like iowa, or beef ranching states like montana, or the rocky mountain states. it is hard to pinpoint exactly which state will benefit. host: back to the canal, one person writes in that they heard the canal was owned by the chinese. how does that factor into the trade agreement? guest: this trade agreement
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would not give us any special access to the canal, but it would give us access to more growth in panama and. host: can you describe the difficulty some members of congress might be having in explaining this to their constituents, especially with elections coming? guest: i indicated to my colleagues over the weekend that it is difficult for members of congress to try to explain the benefits of lower prices at wal- mart compared to -- really, this trade has displaced people. the apparel industry in the u.s., there's hardly any apparel going on in this country anymore because it is very labor intensive.
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textile is more machinery oriented. there are a lot of agreements that allow for low-cost apparel. if they use u.s. textiles, some compromise has the worked out. it has been the vehicle for many congressmen to explain in their districts, unless they are in a district that can see the benefits pretty quickly. host: here is a tweet. guest: this has been a big criticism of trade deals done by the bush administration and democrats are trying to change. there is a fear of this race to the bottom. if corporations are allowed to assassinate union leaders, which is the big charge in the colombia free trade agreement.
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it will be a race to the bottom. everyone will be competing in the most unrelated -- unregulated labour market they can find. these deals to have provisions in them, such as the abiding by labor laws and principles. there are disputes tied to that for the u.s. can look into and possibly remove trade benefits to a country. the u.s. -- if the u.s. labor department -- the u.s. labor department failed to follow up on that for years, but there are petitions to guatemala. there is some hope for the labor committee on that. there was only one passed by the congress under president bush, passed in 2007, and it contained
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a new environment chapter. there was a lot of improvement in the forestry laws between the u.s. and peru. and it remains to be seen if these will be enforced effectively. host: back to the phone with our best. maryland, republican. caller: i was wondering if your test can help me of. i lived in south korea for four years some time ago. they have national sales experts and income tax. i was reading online recently that approximately 23% of our products are u.s.-made products as a result of the cumulative
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income tax throughout the manufacturing process. i was wondering, our products are 22% overpriced and imported products are tax-free. i was wondering if we increased the sales tax it could make our products more attractive overseas. guest: what the caller is talking about is a value added tax. a lot of other countries have the spirit of the you and others have them in addition to an
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income tax. -- have these. the eu and others have them in addition to an income tax. you can structure them based on whether it is rated for exports. it will make your exports cheaper. senator mccain and others talked about possibly a v.a.t. instead of a corporate tax, for example. others on the liberal side would say, perhaps in addition to, but that gets conservatives worry because it could be super fuel for federal spending. it would massively raise revenue. it is interesting be affected has on trade. in the south korean deal, korea used to have this terrible practice of auditing anyone who bought a u.s. car. that has gone by the wayside through u.s. pressure.
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the hope is that we will see u.s. car exports to the south. go of. right now, there are very few of u.s.-made vehicles on the streets of korea. host: an e-mail rights. let's hear from green bay, wisconsin no, barbara, independent. caller: i have many concerns. i am trying to stay focused.
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i watched face the nation yesterday and i hear them talk about august 2. there were talking in the social security, medicare for our elderly. as an educator, this collective bargaining which is heavy on my heart. in wisconsin, not only green bay, but many small communities teachers are being laid off or been forced to retire. i do not know what other words to use. if you do not plan on retiring and you are 62 down to four -- down to 58, that is forced retirement. i do not know how to address this. host: not a precise target that we are talking about, but is
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there any connection to what -- to these trade agreements? guest: not so much, but she is making a point about state and local jobs. if we had a terrible unemployment number a few days ago, 9.2%. a big part of that was state and local government jobs due to government cuts. it is a really tough environment. this weekend, we saw the treasury secretary saying people will feel it in their lives for a very long time things are pretty grim right now. we're watching policy makers scrambling. august 2 is the drop dead date on the budget. the decision will allow free made between paying social security or other things.
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hope among wall street and economists that there will be some debt ceiling deal in washington to avoid that. host: louisiana, republican. caller: this is about the trade agreement carrigan -- agreement. most of the time when people in the u.s. lose their jobs, and says they will train the people and give them a job. what kind of job can they get for them when we do not have any jobs? and if they can do that for them then, why can't they do that for them now? one lady did that. she got the training and how she does not have a job.
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guest: a lot of economists, even the imf in their yearly report card to the u.s. said that we need to focus more on job training. i think the u.s. has 50 different job training programs that are fully coordinated. if there is an effort to reform that with both republicans and democrats to find savings and to make a way to make it work better. i think it is found that those with a college redo much better. there needs to be some -- a college degree to much better. there needs to be some focus on the job training program. host: how does the government know what jobs to train people for? guest: 80 a program that you mentioned earlier, the department of labour is for your side on the value in the program.
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the government accountability office is saying this is not this is rarely a good idea. it is not really clear how to address it in a pinpoint fashion that could help it to be more effective. if you know, helping people be addressed to a free trade environment. host: eric wasson is currently a staff writer for the hill. he is the lead reporter on the budget and federal spending issues. down to our last few phone calls on the u.s.-panama free trade agreement. from georgia, a democrat. caller: i was calling about the trade agreements, overall trade
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agreements over the years and why these companies actually moved overseas. somebody explained that -- why these companies are waiting to invest their money. over some time it appears that we have reduced the middle income over here, plus warfare -- class warfare in a sense, and it seems we have an imbalance between the tax base and the public service workers. and we fail to mention that all of these companies used to be american companies that have joined up into a kind of global corporate monopoly -- into some kind of global corporate
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monopolies. it has to do with foreign companies coming over here, reducing the wages. whenever those companies get over here, they have to get entitlements and subsidies before they will move over here. when those companies get back into gear, wages will be reduced so that -- that is why these companies are willing to invest their money over here because of the reduced wages. -- waiting to invest their money over here because of the reduced wages. guest: a lot of good points. the panama free trade agreement
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is much smaller than other trading partners. another trade agreement, china. it does have an end -- an impact on the economy, especially manufacturing. the caller is right that wages have dropped since the mid- 1970s. with china right now, there is an effort to pressure them on their currency. this is an issue that democrats and republicans are focusing on. even the imf and others have said that china holds down the rate of its currency to make its exports cheaper. and u.s. imports are more expensive, just due to the exchange rate. obama in focusing on the wto cases against china had a big victory last week in a restriction of raw materials.
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a lot of focus has been on china rather than by the american countries. rightly so, because it is a huge player and where we get a lot of our manufactured goods. host: republican caller, sam. caller: i have a couple of comments and questions. on the trade agreement, it seems as though the president recently brought up the trade agreement with south korea and the ones down in south america, and actually, for the last couple of years i have heard from republicans -- i believe for political purposes the president is doing his best to make a democratic issue.
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the other comment is about the maid. please do not cut me off. i was watching c-span last week and a recipient to 3:00 p.m. we are going to get to the republican response or wherever. i waited 30 minutes for it to come on and ms. mccollough got up there for two minutes -- mitch mcconnell caught up there for two minutes. they cut away from that and went back to the senate and made me watch barbara boxer. host: i can explain that. i remember that particular case. the senate floor was coming back into session. our commitment is to bring you the house and senate floor in its entirety. its entirety.

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